Hardworking Clarets earn an Anfield replay

Lucky Liverpool face another awkward Anfield replay after scrapping their way to a goalless draw at Turf Moor.

The Premiership side will be glad for another crack at their first division opponents, despite their miserable experiences at home in the FA Cup in recent years.

Liverpool were dumped out of the competition by Bolton, then Bristol City at home following draws against their lower division opposition.

And even this season they needed penalties to get through an Anfield replay in the last round following a goalless draw at second division Birmingham.

But Liverpool will be confident they have now put that recent jinx behind them as they attempt to maintain their double attack on two cup fronts following their continued involvement in the Coca-Cola Cup.

They knew they had been in a real fight after leaving a rain-sodden Turf Moor, even though goalkeeper David James had only two saves to make all day.

They came at the start and end of a pulsating encounter which unfairly saw six players booked - four of them from battling Burnley.

James tipped over a stinging David Eyres drive as early as the third minute. Then with just four minutes left, the keeper was relieved to see Burnley's Steve Davis power a close-range header right into his midriff.

But, in between, the Liverpool goal enjoyed several fortunate escapes, chiefly caused by some lack-lustre and careless clearances by their defence.

On loan striker Andy Saville nearly punished one clearance only for Phil Babb to deflect it inches wide of his own goal.

Neil Ruddock also made several last gasp interceptions, with one denying an opportunity to Liam Robinson, which Burnley's best player would certainly have tucked away.

Liverpool did create several chances for themselves, only for Steve McManaman to have an off day with his finishing.

The England prospect headed one chance early wide, then from the best move of the match as John Barnes and Ian Rush split the defence, McManaman directed his shot at keeper Wayne Russell's feet.

Rush had just one opportunity of finally equalling Denis Law's record FA Cup tally of 41 goals.

But after latching onto Davis' badly timed header, which skimmed towards his own goal, the Welsh international again found the feet of Russell.

But Burnley, watched by over 20,000 fans - their biggest crowd of the season - deserved their chance of another pay day and the possibility of joining Bristol City and Bolton in the annals of Anfield history.

Liverpool manager Roy Evans declared: "I thought it was a total non-event. The only good thing for us is that we are still in the hat. We had our times, but we never really frightened them much. We needed a kick-start today, but there was nobody there to kick-start us. The game never really got started. They had some scrambles in our area and we had some possession and got behind them without doing too much."

Liverpool have now scored just twice in the last six games, but Evans said: "At least we are still getting in there. We were just lack-lustre all round."

Burnley boss Jimmy Mullen said: "I thought it was a fair result. I am pleased with our performance - I thought it was to our credit."

Burnley were beaten 2-0 at Anfield earlier in the season in a Coca-Cola Cup tie, but Mullen said: "I thought that scoreline flattered them. We played well up at their place and we had a couple of early chances. It's a daunting prospect going there for the replay, but we're still in with a chance."

Copyright - British Soccer Week

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